NASA: Sun shoots a gigantic solar flare! Will it hit Earth? What are the chances?

NASA: A gigantic solar flare erupted on the surface of the Sun. Should we worry about this?

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 11:53 IST
Solar flare
Sun unleashed a massive X1.1-class solar flare on April 30. (NASA)
Solar flare
Sun unleashed a massive X1.1-class solar flare on April 30. (NASA)

NASA: The extreme volatility on the surface of the Sun is now a constant phenomenon with several solar flares being generated by the Sun that we have seen in the past few weeks. Now, on April 30, an active sunspot AR2994, short for Active Region 2994, unleashed another gigantic solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory has shared a stunning video of the solar flare in different wavelengths of light. The massive solar flare is said to be of X1.1-class.

What does it mean? X-class denotes one of the most intense flares. And the number along with the intensity symbol of the solar flare denotes its strength. The solar flares are classified into four classes - A, B, C, M, and X, based on their intensity. So, the most powerful solar flare would be an X-classified solar flare while M denotes the second most powerful solar flare.

About the massive solar flare

Solar flares are powerful and very eruptions of electromagnetic radiation from the Sun, which can last from minutes to even hours. These sudden outbursts of electromagnetic energy travel at humongous speeds. And if transmitted towards the Earth side, it can have a significant effect on the sunlit sides of Earth, NASA explained.

And this recent massive X1.1-class solar flare began at 9:37 AM EDT and reached its peak strength within 10 minutes, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) mentioned. The outburst erupted just before the first partial solar eclipse of 2022. For skywatchers in different parts of South America, the southern Pacific Ocean, and Antarctica, the moon was expected to block out a portion of the Sun. Here's when the April 30th solar eclipse begins.

Will this solar flare hit the Earth?

According to which tracks solar flares reported how this solar flare impacted Earth and human activity. It said, "Even with the sunspot completely hidden behind the sun's northwestern limb, the explosion still produced enough radiation for a strong shortwave radio blackout over the mid-Atlantic Ocean and much of Europe. Tony Phillips mentioned on his website that the gigantic solar eruption almost unleashed a coronal mass ejection but because the solar flare came from a sunspot hidden from direct view of the Earth, the chances of it impacting the planet are low.

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First Published Date: 02 May, 09:51 IST
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